This was the first outing for Wirksworth Running Club’s ‘new improved’ T’Owd Man Race with extra trail and slightly less distance – both great changes that we hope will help establish the race as one of Derbyshire’s top-quality annual trail races.

Reader – the course has everything – forest trail, flat and ‘very un-flat’ railway line, paths through rough grazing land and (okay!) a tiny stretch of tarmac not to mention fantastic views, two water stations, great marshals and a mere 500 metres of climbing.

To match the quality of the course the seven Wirksworth runners in the race were led in by the superb performances of Chris Sleath and Dan Sleath, coming in first and third overall respectively, in extraordinarily fast times of 1:32 and 1:40 respectively – these times are extra impressive when you consider the terrain and the need for 100% concentration at all times in spotting the route signs.

Further down the field for Wirksworth were some strong performances from Alun Richard-Jones (1:51), coming in fifth in the V40 age category, and Glenn Baird (1:48) and Lewis Glover (1:55), coming second and third in the V50 category.  James Watson (2:10) and Dan Griffiths (2:18) also put in dogged performances with Dan’s partner at the finish on hand to provide a wide range of hop-based beverages for his delectation.

All results can be found at

Huge thanks goes to almost twenty club members who volunteered to help with the race – it was a great team effort plus the much appreciated help from the Wirksworth Rotary Club and a cheery team from Mount Cook Activity Centre.  Particular mentions though go to race organisers Simon Edwards and Ray Foley, as well as the diligent Bob King, who expertly swept the course with his secateurs and tape-filled rucksack, not forgetting Eva Taylor, who produced the race and series artwork.

Finally, this was the race that runners had to compete in to qualify for our first T’Owd Man Series.  Out of the 64 runners on the day almost 20 go into the final race (the Undulator on the 20th October) with the opportunity to win a beautiful commemorative mug and to be crowned ‘T’Owd Man’ Series Winner – see this for the current standings….